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Special Easter Music, Services

Catholics and Protestants will flock to services Sunday, filling churches with people seeking “the new fire of Easter,” as Cardinal Roger M. Mahony put it in his annual holiday message.

“May the overpowering mystery of Christ’s resurrection give us all new hope and the promise of a bright new life,” the archbishop of the Los Angeles Catholic diocese said. That hope should not be sought in a graveyard of sins “where our diminished respect for other people resides, and where our pride and pettiness find a home,” he said.

Mahony will celebrate Easter in two San Gabriel Valley parishes Sunday, presiding at a 9:30 a.m. Mass in English at Holy Angels Church, Arcadia, and a 12:15 p.m. Mass in Spanish at Immaculate Conception Church, Monrovia.

The Most Rev. Norman McFarland, the bishop for the Diocese of Orange, will celebrate Mass on Easter at 11:15 a.m. at Holy Family Cathedral, 566 S. Glassell St., Orange.

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Most evangelical and Protestant churches must schedule at least one additional service Sunday morning to handle the year’s biggest attendance.

The celebration begins Saturday night at Easter vigil services at liturgically traditional churches, such as the Episcopal Church. Many others will rise in predawn hours Sunday to attend sunrise services on hilltops and ocean piers and at parks and cemetery grounds.

Some congregations have special music for Easter.

* A cantata, “The Rising of the Sun,” composed by Bob Ralston, featured organist on the old Lawrence Welk TV show, will be presented with a dramatic portrayal of the Easter story at Founder’s Church of Religious Science, 3181 W. 6th St., Los Angeles. Ralston will play the pipe organ for the cantata at its two performances in the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services. (213) 388-9733.

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* Christian recording artist Leon Patilla, who began his career as lead singer for Santana, will give a mini-concert during the 11 a.m. service Sunday at Good Shepherd Church, 1520 Pearl St., Santa Monica. (310) 452-1056.

* Soprano Rosemarie Pfinder, a choir and a string ensemble will perform works by Bach, Handel and Mozart in a 2 p.m. concert Sunday at Los Angeles First Unitarian Church, 2936 W. 8th St. $10 suggested donation. (213) 389-1356.

* Mandie Pinto of Northridge will sing in the 6:30 p.m. Sunday service at Crystal Cathedral, 12141 Lewis St., Garden Grove, and in a prelude concert starting at 6 p.m. (714) 971-4069.

EDUCATION

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The National Catholic Education Assn. will open its four-day annual convention Tuesday morning in Los Angeles with a speech by Alan Keyes, a former U.S. ambassador to UNESCO and onetime candidate for the Republican nomination for president.

All sessions, including a late morning Eucharist presided over by Cardinal Mahony, will be at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Other plenary speakers include Father Virgil P. Elizondo, founder-president of the Mexican American Cultural Center, San Antonio, on Wednesday, and Michael Berenbaum, president of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, Los Angeles, on Thursday.

Suspense novelist Mary Higgins Clark will describe her craft and how her Catholic education provided the values to overcome hurdles in her life. Clark’s talk at 11:15 a.m. Friday will conclude the convention.

SIKH HOLIDAY

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As many as 3,000 Southland Sikhs are expected to attend the daylong Baisakhi celebration Sunday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The event coincides with the start of the new year in India and celebrates the founding in 1699 of the Khalsa Brotherhood within Sikhism.

Yogi Bhajan, longtime leader of Sikh Dharma International in Los Angeles, will speak during the program, which begins at 8 a.m. at the Convention Center’s rooms 403A and B. The free program ending at 5 p.m. will also have Sikh devotional music, vegetarian food and a demonstration of Sikh martial arts featuring swordplay.

The annual celebration is co-sponsored by several temples from North Hollywood to Riverside, but the principal sponsor is Guru Ram Das Ashram in Los Angeles. (310) 201-0954.

FINALLY

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A religious architecture tour of seven churches in the West Adams and Pico-Union neighborhoods of Los Angeles will be conducted next Saturday, starting at Angelica Lutheran Church at 1345 S. Burlington Ave.

The exterior of Angelica Lutheran, and some of its interiors, were used to represent the Catholic parish on the controversial ABC drama “Nothing Sacred.”

Also on the bus tour, run by the West Adams Heritage Assn., are two churches built in 1925--St. Vincent Catholic Church, with its Spanish Baroque style, and St. John’s Episcopal Church, modeled on an 11th century Romanesque-style church in Italy.

Another stop will be Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church, which has an unusual skylighted sanctuary and striking stained-glass windows, tour organizers said. Tickets are $20 and $25. (213) 734-3646.

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Notices may be mailed for consideration to Southern California File, c/o John Dart, L.A. Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth, CA 91311, or faxed to Religion desk (818) 772-3385, or e-mailed to john.dart@latimes.com Items should arrive 2-3 weeks before the event, except for spot news, and should include pertinent details about the people and organizations with address, phone number, date and time.

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CONVENTION

The Los Angeles-based International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, which added 200,000 followers to its ranks last year to reach more than 2.2 million members and adherents worldwide, will open its five-day annual convention Tuesday at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

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Nearly 90% of the Pentecostal denomination’s membership is abroad, although its U.S. church rolls also grew last year to 231,522 in 1,832 congregations, said denominational spokesman Ronald D. Williams. Delegates will elect a new president to succeed the Rev. John Holland, who resigned in July after nearly 10 years in the position.


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